Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hot & Sour Soup

This soup is perfectly balanced and makes a great meal on a cold winter's night! 

6 cups beef stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. diced fresh or pickled ginger
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 - 1 tsp. dried chili flakes
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, OR 1 Tbsp. lime juice
3 scallions sliced
2 eggs
12 ounces tofu, cubed
½ cup fresh cilantro

1. Heat the stock in a large sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili flakes, rice vinegar, brown sugar and lime leaves to the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the scallions.
2. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. While stirring the soup, stream in the eggs. (The slower you stir the eggs into the soup, the larger the pieces will be.) 
3. Next add the tofu. 
4. Serve with a garnish of fresh cilantro.
A few ideas, alternatives and suggestions...
Beef stock was used in this recipe simply because it was what I had on hand. You can use any stock you'd like and I’m sure it’ll be just as wonderful.
 I generally use pickled ginger over fresh because it is much easier to deal with. It can be found in any Asian market (maybe the American too…I’ve never checked there). It is already peeled and in matchsticks and just needs a rough chop.
 Kaffir lime leaves are so tasty and I suggest you use them if you can. They can be found in Asian markets as well, and they are usually dried. I am fortunate enough to have some wonderful friends who have given me a Kaffir lime tree. If you live nearby, I can bring you some!!
Rice or noodles make a nice addition to your soup. I recommend cooking the rice/noodles first, adding a serving to each bowl and pouring the soup over the rice/noodles. This way the they won’t absorb all of the soup leaving you with a soggy mess.
Don't forget, any protein can be substituted for the tofu.

Go play with your soup!!